Special needs

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10 tips for IEP season

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

As if the back to school routine isn’t busy enough for families, there is also the added stress for parents of children with special needs to participate in Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meetings for each of their children. Here are 10 tips to help you go in with a positive attitude, a collaborative mindset, and a plan of action.

Meet the Kenos

Source: 
AFABC Membership

The Kenos say that you're never too old to provide a family for kids who need it. Here they share their story, along with why being an AFABC Member was important to them.

Mary Ellen and her husband already had three daughters, but they knew they had more love to give. 

Q&A: Adopting from China

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

For almost twenty years, China has been the most popular source country for international adoptions by Canadian families. Since the peak year of 2005, however, adoption numbers have decreased while wait times have increased. The exception is China’s special needs (“waiting children”) program, which is now the largest source of international adoptions to Canadians. In this Q&A, we talk with two families who recently adopted through the waiting children program.

Trauma matters

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Advice from a counsellor on how to recognize and help wounded children and youth.

Trauma: adoption’s shadow

Many children and youth who are adopted have been exposed to highly stressful situations and traumatic events; however, the resulting special needs these children can experience aren’t always recognized or supported. It’s vital for caregivers and professionals to learn the signs and symptoms of trauma as they present in children and youth, and to know how to find and access age-appropriate trauma-informed care.

Everyone has a story: Meet the Imries

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Meet the Imrie family: Jody, a special education teacher and foster-turned-adoptive mom who lives in Vancouver; her daughter, Kristina (6); and her son, Krillen (7).

How did you get started as a foster parent?

From the time I was a teenager, I always knew I wanted to adopt children.  I just always felt that there were so many children in the world who needed a home, and I wanted to give one to some of them rather than bring more children into the world.  I didn’t feel a need for my children to be biologically related to me. 

Finding my abilities

Source: 
Speak-Out Youth Newsletter #3

I grew up in care from the time I was two years old until I turned 18. I don't really remember a lot of my first foster home or much of my childhood. I was abused by my mom and ended up with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I was also diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS).

I do remember moving into my grandparents' house at the age of four. I lived there until I was 12. It was then that my disabilities began to show. I wasn't sure how to express myself or my feelings in a respectful and mature way, and it was getting hard for my grandparents to take care of me.

Diary of an adoptive mom #8

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

In the eight of our series, we present the secret thoughts of an adoptive mom of three kids. After a couple of months having the children home, our mom finally admits she's overwhelmed and needs help.

No, I am not writing this from the psych ward. However, there are times when that is a definite possibility. Although things have improved since April, there is still such a long way to go.

Parental advisory

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

I’m a mom of four children, all adopted at different ages and stages. My first child was born in the US in 1997 and adopted as a newborn. In 2006  I adopted three more children from Liberia in West Africa. They were 2, 4, and 13 years old (though the 13 year old wouldn’t actually join our family until he was nearly 19).

In 2006, Liberia was a country in turmoil, it was just a few years after the civil war had ended, the infant and child mortality rates were incredibly high, and the adoptions were being processed relatively quickly.

Diary of an adoptive mom #9

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

In the ninth of our series, we present the secret thoughts of an adoptive mom of three kids. This time, mom loses confidence that she can cope.

The past ten days have been an absolute nightmare. The foster parents came for a visit last weekend. We'd planned this a month ago, and we all through it would be good for Grant and Lynn to see Susan and Mike. We believed this would help cement the concept of foster parents always being part of their adoption story.

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